“Some records are fascinating, have a disturbing “je-ne-sais-quoi” that distinguishes them from others.
This is the case of “Reflections”. You can hear musicians who are totally in tune with the compositions that the saxophonist plays for them. Simple themes, but which they manage to magnify by the beauty of their choruses, the accuracy of their interventions.
Recorded without piano, but already with Michael Felberbaum, Marc Buronfosse and Luc Isenmann, “First Step”, Michel’s first opus, already seduced by its musical coherence.
The cohesion of the group is just as evident in this new quintet album, but a third melodic instrument brings a considerable poetic dimension. Marc Copland plays a piano unlike any other. His misty use of his notes, modifies their resonance, gives them a unique sparkle and glitter.
In Reflections, based on a twelve-tone series, light sound vibrations diffract them. The pianist is just as enthralling in La Mort n’existe pas, a long and fascinating composition that lulls a dreamy soprano, and in 328, which concludes the album magnificently. Although he ideally completes the formation, Michel El Malem remains the mastermind of this ambitious project. For a long time the guitar was his only instrument and his phrasing keeps his memory alive. Possessing a thick and warm sound for both tenor and soprano, he does not try to play too many notes, but prefers to air them out, making his melodic lines transparent.
For him, music and collective playing come to the forefront. Supported by a double bass and drums, piano, saxophone and guitar interact and improvise in an exemplary way”.
Pierre de Chocqueuse
Source : Jazz Magazine – December 2011